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Pulis proud of Shawcross debut

SoccerNews in English Premier League 16 Nov 2012

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Stoke manager Tony Pulis is ‘proud as punch’ that Ryan Shawcross was handed his England debut against Sweden on Wednesday night.

The centre-back came on for the Three Lions after 73 minutes, shortly before Zlatan Ibrahimovic led his country to a 4-2 victory after being 2-1 down.

But Pulis sees Shawcross’ first England cap as a great source of pride for both the player and Stoke as a club regardless of the full-time result.

“We are absolutely proud as punch that we have a player representing England,” Pulis said.

“There hasn’t been one at this club for a long time. It’s a great fillip for everyone around the football club, and another feather in the cap for the club.

“He sat on the bench for around 75 minutes and he is such a big lad, to get him to get on, get going and get into it was a big ask.

“But he enjoyed it, he has got his cap and England shirt and he will always treasure that. We hope he has learned from the experience.”

However, the Stoke boss revealed his disappointment that Shawcross was not picked in Roy Hodgson’s starting XI and blamed Ibrahimovic’s second goal – for which the defender was directly at fault – on the player’s rustiness from the bench.

“I was disappointed he never started if I’m honest – I think he deserved to start,” he said.

“Roy picks the team, and I am going to be biased. He has played (Steven) Caulker and I think he is going to be a very good player, but I just thought Ryan might have got the nod.

“He was disappointed with the goal – I think he’ll be the first to hold his hands up on that one. But he looked a little bit frozen when he came on – not mentally, but just a bit stiff.

“They should have been warming him up for 30 minutes before they brought him on.”

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